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“I want to live in a way that makes me forget about time itself, because I’m drenched in the pure, vital present.”

Genius. Loved the whole thing and the way you brought it home.

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Thank you James. I feel a lot better with this as the final idea - the experience of timelessness - than diverging to the end of time like before.

I really appreciate your kind words & all the support you show me. Means the world (:

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Tommy. I was simply reflecting back to where you’d taken me as a reader. 😀. I’m grateful you asked.

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Loved this line too, (in usual resonance with James' taste.)

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James has great taste (and I’m not just saying that because he liked something I wrote !!)

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Lovely writing as always. This is something I've thought about a lot lately. With the invention of time, we decided to treat every day of the year the same regardless of sunset and sunrise or temperature. Wouldn't it be better, in so many ways, to live in accordance with the seasons? Sleep more and eat dinner earlier in the Winter. Rise earlier and eat dinner later in the Summer. Rather than trying to fight each season with the same weapon (the clock), why not let nature dictate how we spend our days?

I admire your ability to write about a researched non-fiction topic without it coming across as textbook or unpersonal. It's something I struggle with while writing actionable essays about a certain protocol or test. But this is a great reminder for me that, regardless of the topic, you can always make it personal, observational, and playful.

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Thanks so much Jack. I’ve been thinking about that topic a lot recently: the way modernity puts us into opposition with our innate ingrained biology. It extends far beyond just time but this is a facet I think.

Definitely tried to write something different! With a bit more research, more observational. Seeing what I enjoy and what resonates. People seem to like the jokes and self deprecation the most lol.

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Appreciate you reading and your help editing this piece (:

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I found this example in your footnotes one of the most impactful statements in the piece:

"The Italian artist Masaccio spent 40 years just making the door of the Duomo of Florence. Now, the idea of devoting your life to work on a single door is absurd." I agree that we currently find this absurd, which in and of itself is absurd. What an incredible life that would be, to exist in the bosom of that kind of continuity of effort and craft. But then when I think about it further, the drive that some of us have to discover Purpose, to find that unifying thread of our Reason for being here, to reveal the intended focus of our service, comes from our soul's thirst to work on a single door. Because we are uniquely equipped to create and open a door for others that no one else can build. And doing that work constitutes a good life. I really like this idea, need to do some more writing about it.

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Ahhhh I can’t believe I buried it in the footnotes!! Last second decision. Darn it.

To echo James’ response, this comment is simply exquisite Rick. I should just replace my essay with this quote from you

“What an incredible life that would be, to exist in the bosom of that kind of continuity of effort and craft. But then when I think about it further, the drive that some of us have to discover Purpose, to find that unifying thread of our Reason for being here, to reveal the intended focus of our service, comes from our soul's thirst to work on a single door. Because we are uniquely equipped to create and open a door for others that no one else can build. And doing that work constitutes a good life.”

Sounds like a solid kernel of an essay!

You always amaze me with how wide you read but also the depth and insight you reach to. Thanks Rick. Seriously means a lot, my friend.

Hope you have a lovely December weekend (:

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I am not unaware of the time and dedication that's required to produce the quality of writing you've committed to each week. You consistently offer ideas worth reflecting upon and that produce further opportunity for insight and dialogue. You are the one doing that work, it's irreplaceable, and I'm grateful for it.

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Thank you so much Rick. Means a lot coming from you.

That’s like an early Christmas present (:

I have many days where I doubt myself and how I’m choosing to spend my time but your words remind me what it’s all for.

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Rick, this reply of yours is an exquisite door of its own, crafted in probably three minutes straight from your soul. Crafting beautiful doors is independent of time - keep crafting unique ones through your words and your presence. The world is a better place as a result.

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Thank you James. This is what I most love about reading authors like Tommy, and you, and many of our friends. They are loaded with useful points of reflection.

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I sometimes have been frustrated that my 7 year old has no concept of relative time. After reading this I realise how lucky he is. Poor thing will learn about relative time and the passing of the hours all too soon. I enjoyed reading this thank you.

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Debbie! Thanks so much for reading & leaving such a beautiful reflection.

I love how this essay resonated with you in the context of your son. I don’t know about you, but I look back with fondness on the timelessness of my childhood.

Really appreciate the kind words. Made my day (:

Hope you have a lovely December weekend

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I hope you have a lovely weekend too x

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Tommy I absolutely loved this piece!! So beautifully well put. I loved the observation of something that was once a treasured item set out for everyone to see, now put away in the basement with no one to admire it. I know objects don’t feel anything but still makes me sad to think about things like that. I’m happy to hear you brought it out again, paying homage to the people who loved it before its life in storage.

One of my favourite lines this week: “Experience that turned to honey, slow and sweet. Bathed in transcendence. Like I was in on some secret. Like I’ve been complicating life for so long when it’s so simple. Like everything I need is already with me.” AHH such a lovely choice of words and a feeling I am very familiar with. Something about just sitting in nature is so surreal, which is odd since it really should be the thing that feels the most familiar to us. Sometimes I wonder if the anxiety a lot of people (including myself) experience would still exist if we didn’t live the way that we did. If I had to bet on it, I would say it wouldn’t. If you wanted to learn more about how super cool the forest really is I recommend reading The Heartbeat of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. I may have already recommended that to you but it is just so good hahahaha. One of my favourite things to do when I’m on a walk or a hike is to look up at the trees (and hope I don’t trip or walk into someone). the way their branches look against the sky is one of the prettiest things I have ever seen. Really does make you smile and feel this almost overwhelming, unexplainable feeling of love for the earth. Such a wonderful thing that we are lucky to be apart of.

I am also so down to burn all the clocks. It is so frustrating to understand and see how idiotic and backward the way we have set up the way society is supposed to run and yet not be able to do much about it. Go work an 8-5, where you will spend majority of the day not doing much and then its dark out when you get home and you have a few hours in your day to do what you want before you have to go to sleep because you have to wake up early for a job that you dont really like so that some old men can make a ton of money that they dont really need. Rant over haha but I could go on for hours!!

I too believe that modern life is better for us, but I also would love to not have an annoying alarm determine when I wake up in the morning every day!

Honestly, reading your posts are one of my favourite parts of the week.

Ps. I made my first post on here if you wanted to check it out haha! It’s nothing special but I suppose it’s a start!

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Rachel, I love all of your comments but this may be my favourite just yet.

I so agree with you on objects. I read a fun contrarian argument that objects can actually be more valuable than experiences if you pick the right ones. I forget many of my fun experiences but I have several objects - including clothes - that bring daily comfort, beauty and joy.

It’s so funny. I came out of the forest on my 4th day in the backcountry in May with that exact thought. I couldn’t really see the fog of modernity while I was so immersed in it but in the forest I saw how my anxiety is largely from modern living, sitting all day behind a screen, doing work I don’t find meaningful, etc. It’s all “fake anxiety” not that it’s not real in terms of experience but in the fact that’s artificial, created by our environment and how we live. In nature, all my anxiety and stress simply melts away.

The natural world is both beautiful and complex beyond my wildest imagination. Such a mystery. I’m actually reading a book about trees and forests right now (The Overstory) I’m in love with. But yes - looking up and around at nature is mesmerizing and quite therapeutic.

And I think you captured the trappings of modernity perfectly. Couldn’t have said it better myself! It’s seriously no wonder people turn to drugs and distraction to numb themselves. I did it for years. But it seems SO silly when you put it that way. Trying very hard to set up my life in a way that I can escape it.

Yay that’s so exciting!! Congrats on publishing. I’ll make sure to subscribe & check it out (although no guarantee my comments will be as profound as yours)

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Hahaha really! Im glad!

I think about ways to live my life surrounded by nature as much as possible like ALL the time hahaha, it really is so true how when you’re out in nature you can see how so many of the problems that trouble us we have created ourselves. The irony is depressing and hilarious!

& I will have to give The Overstory a read! I seriously love trees so much hahahaha.

& thank you!!! It’s very scary but also exciting hahaha im glad to have a reason to write:)) & that’s funny because my comments are just trying to somewhat match the cleverness of your posts hahaha!

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I nodded all the way through this - lots of quoteable lines as well. Particularly liked the image of you chuckling at various birds in wonder. I am now considering taking up country side hiking...

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Rosana! Thank you for reading (: so glad you were nodding instead of nodding off

Birds are something else. Especially when I go to nature, it always shocks me how alive our world is, how life is everywhere, only if I look.

I think a lot and tend towards having a busy head... so silence and stillness and nature really brings me back to my body, helps me make sense of my mind.

I've found a lot of solace in hiking, or just walking alone in general, but certainly everyone finds their own "cup of tea".

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I can understand that, I myself find mindful activities quite useful and relaxing as I can't quite seem to make meditation a habit and it tends to be something I avoid...But I find you can find at least something in your day to day to be mindful about ie I like washing dishes (as silly as that sounds)

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Not silly at all !

Thich Nhat Hanh liked washing dishes too

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I’ve struggled to make it a habit as well. I wrote a whole essay about it lol.

I really think it comes down to skirting social pressure and finding the few rituals that you enjoy & find solace in

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Dec 18, 2023Liked by Tommy Dixon

when we lived on our boat in Seattle, our living room was the water....everywhere we decided to moor or drop anchor. We acknowledged living "within the rhythms of nature", something that doesn't happen as fully when living on land. <3 Time was very present in the tides, the winds, the temperatures and rocking of the boat, the birds and horizon telling us when the winds or a storm will pick up and what we were going to do, where to secure ourselves and what was it going to bring next. Loved your post today. Thanks, Tommy.

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Ahhh I love that so much Kim. Beautiful. That sounds like such an incredible experience.

I actually finished reading Persuasion by Jane Austen recently and there's a strong undercurrent, a whisper, to "get out to sea". Or generally, go into nature.

A close friend's Dad sailed across the Atlantic when he was in his 20's and the feeling of being on a small boat in the middle of endless ocean on all sides, sounds absolutely other worldly.

Thank you so much for reading & the kind words. Made my day (:

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Dec 19, 2023Liked by Tommy Dixon

Thank you for your kind words. This subject and discussion all reminds me of an older book published in 1993: First You Have To Row a Little Boat, by Richard Bode (reflections on life and living). Small book. Again, your essay and comments resonate

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I’ll have to look into it (: thanks again for taking the time to engage with me & my ideas

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...we should all become cavepeople again...

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I’m on board. Can I sign a petition or something ? I heard those things can move mountains these days

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...if we can't become cavemen maybe at least we can become mountains...or mountain men...or mermen...i'm optimistic for 2024...

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I’d go for mermen or mountain men for sure

Who do I vote for to make it happen? Am I politically right or left or upside down or confused?

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...there is only one party that is right to vote for and that is the wrong party...then you can tell everyone how right you are until there is no one left...

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Hahahaha I cracked up at this one

You’re a (non-evil) genius, man

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the kundera quote 🤌 any favorites from his repertoire?

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Oooh I’ll have to go back and look. Goodreads is always a solid place to look for crowdsourced quotes. But the idea of heaviness and lightness really floored me.

Thanks for reading Kora (: hope you’re keeping well pal & finding some semblance of home amidst your travels

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unbearable lightness of being is a classic.. but my absolute favorite is immortality! i think you would really love it

hope the holiday season is finding you well too my friend! let’s chat soon, i left you a message on circle but that may have gotten buried under everything else 😄

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what do you love about immortality?

ahh i'm so sorry man. i haven't been on circle since WoP ended in early November. Shoot me a note at tommydixon0070@gmail.com and let's find a time in the New Year (:

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i loved it because it's such a fascinating perspective on what it means to be remembered – whether it's through the lens of a romantic encounter, or through the posthumous dialogue between two authors (hemingway, goethe).

it's also the source of my favorite quote of all time:

"living, there is no happiness in that. living: carrying one's painful self through the world.

but being, being is happiness. being: becoming a fountain, a fountain on which the universe falls like warm rain."

and no worries at all – i'll email you and we'll set something up!

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